Utah Cannabis License Guidelines

Utah Center for Medical Cannabis

License and Enforcement Criteria

The Center for Medical Cannabis (CMC) is the government authority overseeing the legal medical cannabis industry in Utah.  The CMC works under the Utah Department of Health & Human Services. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) advocates for, supports, and serves all individuals and communities in Utah. They strive to ensure all Utahns have fair and equitable opportunities to live safe and healthy lives. The DHHS achieves this through effective policy and a seamless system of services and programs.

The licensing board may not issue a license to operate a cannabis production establishment to an applicant if any individual has been convicted under state or federal law of:

  • a felony; or
  • after December 3, 2018, a misdemeanor for drug distribution;
  • is younger than 21 years old; or
  • after September 23, 2019 until January 1, 2023, is actively serving as a legislator.

The CMC shall issue at least five but not more than eight licenses to operate a cannabis cultivation facility.

The CMC may issue a number of licenses to operate a cannabis cultivation facility that, in addition to the licenses described in Subsection (1), does not cause the total number of licenses to exceed 15 if the department determines, in consultation with the Department of Health and after an annual or more frequent analysis of the current and anticipated market for medical cannabis, that each additional license is necessary to provide an adequate supply, quality, or variety of medical cannabis to medical cannabis cardholders.

Utah Cannabis Law and Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Utah medical cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:


What forms of medical cannabis are qualifying patients allowed to purchase and use?

Medical cannabis will only be available in the following forms under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act:

  • Tablet
  • Capsule
  • Concentrated oil
  • Liquid suspension
  • Transdermal preparation
  • Gelatinous cube
  • Unprocessed cannabis flower in a tamper-evident and a resistant container that is opaque that contains a quantity that varies no more than 10% from the stated weight at the time of packaging
  • Wax or resin
  • Medical cannabis devices such as a vaping pen that warms cannabis material into a vapor without the use of a flame and that delivers cannabis to an individual’s respiratory system

Smoking cannabis is not permitted.

The law prohibits candies, cookies, brownies, and other edible products.

What are the qualifying conditions for a medical card?

Qualifying conditions under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act are listed below:

  • HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • cancer
  • cachexia
  • persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to:
  • pregnancy
  • cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome
  • cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • epilepsy or debilitating seizures
  • multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is being treated and monitored by a licensed health therapist (defined here), and that:
  • has been diagnosed by a healthcare provider by the Veterans Administration and documented in the patient’s record; or
  • has been diagnosed or confirmed by evaluation from a psychiatrist, masters prepared psychologist, a masters prepared licensed clinical social worker, or a psychiatric APRN
  • autism
  • a terminal illness when the patient’s life expectancy is less than six months
  • a condition resulting in the individual receiving hospice care
  • a rare condition or disease that affects less than 200,000 individuals in the U.S., as defined in federal law, and that is not adequately managed despite treatment attempts using conventional medications (other than opioids or opiates) or physical interventions
  • persistent pain lasting longer than two weeks that is not adequately managed, in the qualified medical provider’s opinion, despite treatment attempts using conventional medications other than opioids or opiates or physical interventions
  • acute pain that is expected to last for 2 weeks or longer for an acute condition, including a surgical procedure, for which a medical professional may generally prescribe opioids for a limited duration

Where can I get updates from the DHHS medical cannabis program?

Monthly updates and other news can be found here.

To sign up for the DHHS Center for Medical Cannabis Monthly Update emails, click here.

Does Utah law limit Qualified Medical Providers (QMP) in their relationships with cannabis-related businesses?

A QMP may not:

  • act as a medical cannabis pharmacy agent;
  • have a financial or voting interest of 2% or greater in a medical cannabis pharmacy;
  • have the power to direct or cause the management or control of a medical cannabis pharmacy; or
  • receive any compensation or benefit for the qualified medical provider’s medical cannabis treatment recommendation from a:
    • cannabis production establishment or an owner, officer, director, board member, employee, or agent of a cannabis production establishment;
    • medical cannabis pharmacy or an owner, officer, director, board member, employee, or agent of a medical cannabis pharmacy; or
    • qualified medical provider or pharmacy medical provider.

Are there any terms not allowed for use in cannabis pharmacy advertising?

  • A medical cannabis pharmacy is prohibited from using a term associated with a recreational disposition in their name or logo including:
    • weed
    • pot
    • reefer
    • grass
    • hash
    • ganja
    • Mary Jane
    • high
    • buzz
    • haze
    • stoned
    • joint
    • bud
    • smoke
    • euphoria
    • dank
    • doobie
    • kush
    • frost
    • cookies
    • rec
    • bake
    • blunt
    • combust
    • bong
    • budtender
    • dab
    • blaze
    • toke
    • 420

Utah Cannabis License Types

Medical Cannabis Pharmacy

Pharmacy with licensed medical providers licensed by the CMC to dispense medicinal cannabis to medical card holders.

Medical Cannabis Cultivation

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food and the Utah Division of Purchasing have selected eight companies to be Medical Cannabis Cultivators in Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program.  

At this time no more Cannabis Cultivation licenses are being offered. The Utah Department of Agriculture will follow 4-41a-205 and will not exceed 8 Cannabis Cultivation Facility Licenses unless all Cultivators reach their 100,000 sq. ft. grow limit, the Utah Department of Health anticipates a greater patient need, or a current company forfeits their license.

Medical Cannabis Processing

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Medical Cannabis Program has two tiers of cannabis processing licenses.

A Tier 1 Processing License allows a facility to process, formulate, package, and label products.  A Tier 2 Processing License allows a facility to package and label products. 

There are currently thirteen Tier 1 Processors, two Tier 2 processors, and two Tier 1 processors with an “intent to license”. Applicants with an intent to license have been approved by the Cannabis Production Establishment Licensing Advisory Board pending final inspections and compliance with local regulations.

Currently Utah does not restrict the number of processing licenses. 

To apply please review the Medical Cannabis Processing Application Checklist and follow all instructions.  Before a facility can be issued a license the company must go before the Cannabis Production Establishment Licensing Advisory Board. Dates of the 2022 board meetings and documentation deadlines can be found below. All documents must be completed and submitted by the deadline to be considered by the board

Medical Cannabis Testing Lab

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has one licensed Independent Cannabis Testing Facility located in Utah County.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is now accepting applications for Independent Testing Laboratories.

The Independent Cannabis Testing Laboratory Rule outlines the qualification for receiving an Independent Laboratory License.   All Labs must comply with Good Laboratory Practice and Compliance Monitoring outlined by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

To apply to be an Independent Cannabis Testing Laboratory in the State of Utah, follow the Checklist in the Lab Application Checklist. Before a facility can be issued a license the company must go before the Cannabis Establishment Review Board.  

All Owners’ submitting an  Independent Cannabis Testing Laboratory application must submit a Background Check and a Performance Bond.

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